Jesus is the righteousness of God

Published 8:22 am Friday, March 3, 2023

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: When Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth died recently, I listened to a speech she gave where she mentioned God’s righteousness. This surprised me. It’s not a word that is popular and is very misunderstood. Does it still have relevance today, and are Christians expected to be righteous? – R.O.

Dear R.O.: Jesus is the righteousness of God. The Bible teaches that when we look into God’s Word, we see what true righteousness is. The Ten Commandments describe the life that pleases God. If we are separated from God by sin, the law exposes our sin and shows us our true spiritual condition. Such a mirror does not reveal a very attractive image!
Sin had to be paid for, so in the beginning God instituted the sacrificial system by which we finally could be brought into a right relationship with God. In Old Testament times, those who had sinned brought sacrifices of animals and offered them to God. This foreshadowed the Great Sacrifice yet to come. What is the significance? It is an atonement for man in regard to his sin. In place of a broken relationship between God and the sinner, atonement results and the sinner is forgiven by God.
The sacrifices were visual aids to show sinners that there was hope because the punishment for sin could be transferred to another. This symbolically demonstrated that God could forgive them in the light of what He would one day do at the cross. Jesus, “after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12).
When Jesus preached His Sermon on the Mount, he said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). Salvation in Christ Jesus provides a new self, created in righteousness and holiness.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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